Archive for the 'football' Category

NCAA Suspends Pitino, 18 Pro Football Hall Of Famers Arrive In Israel

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The NCAA suspended Louisville basketball legend Rick Pitino for five games for failing to monitor an escort scandal involving recruited athletes. The school may have to forfeit their 2013 championship as well as their winning record during the time the “sex-for recruits scandal” took place. The story came out in 2015 when Katina Powell wrote a book about Louisville’s basketball program claiming she was paid to provide women (including her daughters) to entertain the recruits.

FOOTBALL

Interest in American football is growing rapidly in Israel, and the arrival this week of a group of Hall Famers certainly made a splash. New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft and the President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, David Baker are leading the delegation which includes Joe Montana, Roger Staubach, Jim Brown, Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis, Chris Carter, Joe Green, Bruce Smith and Jerome Bettis. 18 Hall of Famers embarked on the weeklong trip to the Holy Land called “Touchdown in Israel II-We are All Patriots”.  Kraft told the Associated Press, “I love football. I love Israel. I love America. I think kids in America would die to have this group of players come and view them. The game of football teaches you lessons in life that nothing else does.”

(photo credit:ALLON SINAI)

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KD Helps Warriors Win Game 3, Bob Stoops Retires

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Kevin Durant came out strong in the 4th quarter and helped the Golden State Warriors win a close game 3 over the Cleveland Cavaliers. For most of the game, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson dominated the action with 26 and 30 points respectively, but the Warriors were still down by two with only 50 seconds left on the clock.  KD then grabbed a rebound ran down the court and shot a beautiful 3-pointer to put Golden State up by one. The Warriors didn’t look back and closed out the game 118-113.  The Warriors are now only one win away from capturing the NBA Championship, and considering no team has ever overcome an 0-3 deficit to win the series, the odds look good for Golden State. Game 4 on Friday night 9:00 pm ET.

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The big news out the college football world is Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops announcing his decision to retire after 18 years as head coach of one of the top ranked teams. At 56 years old, Stoops decided to walk away at the top of his game. 33 year old Offensive Coordinate Lincoln Riley takes over the program as the youngest FBS (formerly called Division 1-A) head coach.

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Thomas Scores 53 Points In Memory Of Sister, Curry Spins Over Gobert, Saban Gets Major Salary

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Isaiah Thomas was the star of the Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards Eastern conference semi-final game 2. On what would have been his sister’s 23rd birthday, Thomas took control of the game and scored 53 points. After the game, he told reporters everything he does is for his late sister. He said, “My sister wouldn’t want me to stop. The only thing about it is, once I leave this gym, I hit reality and she’s not here. So that’s the tough part. But, when I’m in this arena, I can lock in and I know everything I do is for her.” Celtics now lead the series 2-0. Boston 129, Washington 119.

In the first game of the Western conference semi-final, the Golden State Warriors looked fresh and came out strong after their 8 days of rest from sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. The Utah Jazz appeared overmatched from the very start of the game. Steph Curry put on a show and made 7-1 Rudy Gobert, known as “The Stifle Tower”, literally spin.  Warriors 106, Jazz 94.

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Nick Saban, Alabama’s head coach, will get a 3 year contract extension and reportedly will be making $11.125 million this season (including a $4 million signing bonus). The contract will run through  2025 with a total of $65 million (not including incentives). The Crimson Tide clearly want to make sure Saban doesn’t leave the school for a rival or for the NFL.

 

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Raiders Move Official, UConn Women In Final Four, Cavs Now Behind Celtics

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It’s official. The Raiders will move to Las Vegas. They received 31 of 32 votes in yesterday’s meeting. The only owner voting against the move was the Miami Dolphins’ Stephen Ross. He said, “My position today was that we as owners and as a league owe it to the fans to do everything we can to stay in the communities that have supported us until all options have been exhausted. I want to wish Mark Davis and the Raiders organization the best in Las Vegas.” The Raiders are expected to move into the new stadium in 2020 and will stay in Oakland until the stadium is ready.

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To no one’s surprise, the University of Connecticut Huskies cruised into the Final Four of the Women’s Championship. UConn has now won 111 consecutive games and is heading to its 10th straight Final Four appearance. Up next, UConn takes on Mississippi State and South Carolina and Stanford face off.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have fallen into a losing spiral and are now 1/2 game behind the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference.

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Cinderellas Gonzaga, South Carolina And Oregon In Final Four With N. Carolina, Booker Makes History, Raiders To Vegas

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The odds of predicting the Final Four Teams in the NCAA Championship was almost impossible, particularly when factoring in that Gonzaga and South Carolina have never made it this far, and Oregon hasn’t gotten to this point since 1939 when they won the tournament. We don’t  just have Cinderella teams however. North Carolina rounds out the group with 22 appearances in the Final Four and 5 championships. On April 1st Gonzaga and South Carolina will square off, and later in the night, North Carolina and Oregon will compete for the National Championship on April 3rd.

Devin Booker made history draining  70 points on Friday night against the Boston Celtics to record the highest scoring game in Phoenix Suns’ history. Shockingly it wasn’t enough to give the Suns a win, but he did secure his place in history becoming the third youngest player in history (at 20 years and 145 days old) to score at least 50 points in a game. He shares this honor with LeBron James and Brandon Jennings.

 

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As of this afternoon, it appears the Oakland Raiders will get enough votes from NFL owners to approve its relocation to Las Vegas. City and State officials came up with a pledge of $750 million dollars to fund a new stadium.

 

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Team USA Wins WBC, Goodell Makes Changes, Kristi’s Unfortunate Tweet To Kerrigan

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Team USA Beat Puerto Rico to win its first ever World Baseball Classic. The Toronto Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman pitched a 7 inning no-hitter to lead Team USA to an eventual 8-0 shutout. Congrats!

FOOTBALL

NFL TV ratings dropped last season, so Commissioner Roger Goodell is looking to make some changes. He is planning on instituting fewer commercial breaks (although potentially longer ones) and standardized timing in the clock for when players go out of bounds and after touchdowns and extra points. Goodell wants to make the game more enjoyable for the fans and will meet with the competition committee to potentially loosen “up the celebration rules to allow the players a little more expression of their enthusiasm,”

OTHER

Social media blew up after former Olympic Gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi innocently tweeted for fellow former Olympic skater, Nancy Kerrigan, to “break a leg” during her upcoming “Dancing With the Stars” appearance. The reason her choice of words was so bad (in case you don’t remember this infamous incident) was in 1994, Nancy Kerrigan’s rival Tonya Harding’s husband hired someone to club Nancy in the leg in order to take her out of competition.

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National Signing Day, Carson Palmer Signals Bye Bye Arizona, Oakley Says Barkley Drinks

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Connor WedingtonFor all college football fans, today is a big day. It’s National signing day and recruited high school prospects from around the country will be sending in (via fax machine which probably seems a bit antiquated to a high school student) their official letters of intent.  Not only is choosing the right school a big deal for the recruited athlete, but the schools know they have to fill in roster spots with players able to start in their first or second year, especially with players leaving early to play in the NFL. Not all players wait until National signing day to announce their intentions, and some players even get creative. One of the best announcements I’ve seen is Sumner’s Connor Wedington (who decommitted from Washington then announced his pick with….no spoiler, watch the video to find out!)

In NFL news, Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer pulled his kids out of school, put his house up for sale and has moved out of the state. Palmer may be signaling he’ll retire. If that’s the case, the Cards need to find a QB ready to play. Many are speculating Dallas QB Tony Romo may be a good fit, but that could be tough call for the Cowboys as the Cards are NFC rivals.

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As suspected, the drama between Charles Barkley and LeBron James hasn’t gone away. Former NBA All Star Charles Oakley, who has a history with Barkley, added fuel to the fire when he tweeted, “I love everything LeBron James said about the hater he needs to stop drinking at work. TNT can I stop by and get a drink?” LeBron’s buddy, Chicago Bulls Guard, Dwayne Wade even got into the action criticizing Barkley, “We all have flaws. But when your flaws are a little bit more, you should shut up.”

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USC Beats Penn State In Record Rose Bowl, Lane Kiffin Leaving Immediately, Starbucks Barista Wins $900K

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rose-bowl-2In the highest scoring Rose Bowl ever, USC beat out Penn State in a game for the ages. At 103 years old, the Rose Bowl is called “The Granddaddy of Them All” as it’s the oldest of all the Bowl games with the highest attendance rates. After two comebacks in the game, USC pulled out a 52-49 win.

The National Championship Game between Alabama and Clemson takes place next week, but Alabama coach Nick Saban made a stunning announcement on Monday. His offensive coordinator, Lane Kiffin (who has signed on as Head Coach at Florida Atlantic University for next season), will be leaving Alabama immediately with Steve Sarkisian taking over his duties for the National title game. The move seems odd with only one week to go before the game. If Alabama doesn’t pull off a win, you can be sure Saban’s decision will criticized and analyzed by all.

For anyone who thinks fantasy football is a waste of time, a Starbucks barista would respectfully disagree. He took his fantasy football obsession to a whole new caffeinated level by winning over $900,000 in the Las Vegas SuperContest.

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Cam Newton Loses Cool; Christian McCaffrey Skip Bowl To Prepare For Draft

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Panther’s QB Cam Newton lost his cool after another hit to the head during the Carolina’s win over the Washington Redskins Monday night. As Newton was sliding out of bounds Redskins defender Trent Murphy ran over him. When a penalty wasn’t called, Newton threw the football at Murphy’s head. Cam was immediately assessed a penalty which took the team out of field goal range. According to Cam, “I’ve got to be better than that. That just can’t happen on my part. I just have to let the referees do their job, and obviously, it was a questionable hit, but I can’t throw the ball at a person. That’s against the rules too.” Washington still lost the game and severely hurt its playoff hopes. Panthers 26, Redskins 15.

christian-mccaffrey-2Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey announced he will skip the Sun Bowl to focus on the NFL draft. McCaffrey led Stanford in rushing and receiving and should go high in the 2017 draft. Many people are discussing whether skipping the Bowl game is fair to the team and whether it sets up a bad precedent. On the other hand, if Christian plays in the bowl game and gets hurt, his star could drop significantly in the draft (which could mean a serious loss of money).  LSU’s Leonard Fournette (who has been injured all year long) will also be skipping his Bowl game. Many draft contenders are already preparing for the NFL Combine which can make or break a player’s prospects.

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Elliott’s Salvation Army Jump, Pats Clinch AFC East Division, Brock Benched, Raiders In Post-Season, Duncan #21 Retired

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Ezekiel ElliottThe Dallas Cowboys win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought the team closer to an NFC East title and a first round bye, but the game was littered with mistakes and some missed opportunities. Ezekiel Elliott provided the most entertainment when he jumped in a Salvation Army kettle after scoring his 13th rushing touchdown (setting a team rookie record). According to Elliott, he saw the kettle during warmups and thought about diving in. Cowboys 26, Bucs 20.

The New England Patriots secured their place in the post-season. In a win over the Denver Broncos, the Pats clinched the AFC East Division Title and a first-round bye. Patriots 16, Broncos 3.

The Houston Texans benched their expensive quarterback Brock Osweiler after he threw two interceptions in the first half. Even though the team paid $72 million dollars over 4 years for Osweiler, the benching proved to be a good decision as backup Tom Savage turned the game around to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans are still in the hunt for a division title, so they will have to make a tough decision this week on which QB to play. Texans 21, Jags 20.

After 14 years, the Oakland Raiders are finally going to be playing in the postseason. With a win over the San Diego Chargers, the Raiders secure a playoff appearance. Raiders 19, Chargers 16.

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screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-9-37-07-amThe San Antonio Spurs retired Tim Duncan’s number 21 jersey. Duncan played 19 seasons with the Spurs.  He won 5 titles for the team including 2 MVP awards. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich summed up the emotional presentation saying, “His empathy, his ability to make people welcome, and lead quietly, but with dignity and gravitas, made him special beyond most anybody that you could imagine.”

 

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